Oh My God Don’t Complain To The Hosts Of A Party You’re Currently At

As we’ve established, planning a party is hard. No, it’s not hard to say BYOB and order a few pizzas, but when it comes to any parties larger than that–dinner parties, holiday parties, weddings–there are a lot of moving pieces. There are guest lists and menus and seating arrangements and invitations and possibly staff, all weighed against the ultimate stress of any party: money. So every party, generally, is a balance of all those things. It’s an experience that makes the most people possible happy without the hosts going broke.

This means that, sometimes, there are minor disappointments, though I hesitate to call them that because no reasonable person would be disappointed. If there’s only beer and wine instead of a full liquor bar? Fine! One dessert instead of a dessert buffet? Whatever! Plastic cups instead of glass ones? What is your life that this is even registering as a problem?!

Which brings me to an incredibly unreasonable person I encountered at a recent wedding. The wedding was beautiful, and featured heavy passed appetizers and a buffet with many, many options. There were plentiful tables, couches and bar tops, though apparently the deal was that, while there were enough surfaces for everyone to eat at, some people were to be left standing. Again, just fine! You take 20 minutes to eat on a bar top and sit on a bench later and everyone has a grand time. Well, that wasn’t the case for one guest, who I overheard on line for the amazing mac & cheese. She would not stop talking about how there weren’t enough chairs. As if that weren’t bad enough, the father of the groom came over and joked about cutting the line for food (as he is the father of the groom). She said no, because they were mad at him that there weren’t enough chairs. He looked incredibly apologetic and sort of slinked away.

You can probably tell I was horrified. It’s fine to privately notice, and maybe even complain to a close friend, that you wish things were one way and they are in fact another. We do this every day. But let’s just make it clear that a situation like this is no one’s fault. Nothing was done wrong. Things were just one way and this woman didn’t like that. Recognizing that herself is one thing, but complaining to the host is entirely another. Just…just don’t do this? Okay? Good.

Help! Can I ask my hairdresser to fix my hair?

Dear Uncommon Courtesy,

I have a question about hairdresser etiquette!

You can’t be afraid of hairdressers or you will end up looking like this.

I recently switched hairdressers (silently, shamefully, and in fact that is probably its own etiquette question, but not what I’m curious about today). I went to a new hipster barbershop/salon in my neighbourhood. I brought a photo to the stylist, let her know about some of my hair’s particularities and issues I’ve had with cuts in the past, and made it clear that while I had a cut and style in mind, she should feel free to make it work the way she thought was best for my hair. It was a nice experience, but two weeks later I have a decided cowlick situation messing with the back of my severe side part, and my curls are not sitting as full as she promised. What are your thoughts on asking a hairdresser to fix a cut that’s off? I’ve done it once before and found it VERY awkward–my then stylist and her colleague were pleasant but definitely made me feel like I didn’t know what was right for my own hair. I don’t know how long to wait (more than a week seems too long, but a few days feels like not giving the cut enough chance). and asking a new hairdresser after a first visit seems like setting a bad tone for the “relationship.” Is asking for a hairdresser to fix a cut ever okay, and is there a way to do it without harming your relationship with them?




Yes, of course you should ask your hairdresser to fix it. Politely.


Jaya: I do think that in our everlasting desire to get rid of all vestiges of servitude, sometimes we go too far and forget that when someone has a service job, their job is to do what you pay them for. And like, not in a mean way.

Victoria:  Hahah yeah! that’s a great way of putting it

Jaya:  But if it’s a haircut, you want a nice haircut!

Victoria:  Totally. And to be honest, haircuts are really expensive.

Jaya:  Especially for women. And you can be all like “well that’s your fault, go to a barber for $10” but c’mon, your hair is a huge part of how you look, and I don’t think there’s any shame in caring about that

Victoria: Nope! I really need to not be such a baby and ask about bang trims more often.

Jaya:  Haha yeah, it’s hard to do on your own. Also, I  do think most hairdressers offer this kind of week-later check up. even if they don’t flat out say it.

Victoria:  Yeah, i think hair stylists expect to have to fix things sometimes and honestly, lots of them get cried at and yelled at, so i’m sure they appreciate a polite “could you please fix this weird thing my hair is doing.”

Jaya:  Yeah! that’s so much nicer than just freaking out.

Victoria: Or not coming back.

Jaya:  Also, they’re professionals. They know what hair is like, and if it’s your first time, duh there are gonna be cowlicks and weird head shapes they’re not going to immediately know, so it helps both of you.

Victoria:  Yep, I think they’d rather fix it and get a loyal customer.Plus then you will have a person who knows about your hair.

Jaya:  Absolutely. I made the mistake for too long of not alerting hairdressers to the weird things my hair does and once I got over that I started getting much better haircuts.

Victoria:  Hahah yeah, it’s scary to try to speak up since they are supposed to know what they are doing.

Jaya:  I think that’s the thing though. They know what they’re doing, but they’re not psychics. They don’t know your head.

Victoria:  Haha yeah, what’s inside it or what’s on it.

Jaya:  If they’re not willing to have a conversation then ok, they’re assholes and find someone else.

Victoria:  Yep.

Jaya:  But there should be a back and forth. They trust you to speak up about anything weird, you trust them to know what looks good from there.

Victoria:  And I think dye jobs too, are especially something you should ask to have fixed if they don’t come out quite right because that’s really normal.

Jaya:  Oh yeah. I’ve never really done that, but that makes sense.

Victoria:  Yeah me either, but it crops up a lot in articles about hair dressers.

Jaya:  how many articles about hair dressers are you reading?

Victoria:  I meaaaaan…

Victoria: Some.

Jaya:  Hahahaha.

Victoria:  Anyway, in sum, hairdressers are professionals and if you aren’t happy with their service, tell them and try to work something out.

Or complain on the internet and tell us your worst hairdresser stories.